On April 12, two Monroe-Woodbury teachers were recognized at the My Favorite Teacher Contest ceremony at the Barnes & Noble in Newburgh. High school English language arts teacher Pamela Ugor, nominated by 11th grade student Cory Vogel, was named the contest winner and Central Valley Elementary speech teacher Catherine Sobel, nominated by 10th grader Paul DelleRose, earned an honorable mention.
During the special ceremony, both students read their award-winning thank you letters to their teachers, sharing stories of how the teachers inspired them and helped them overcome obstacles and achieve success.
The Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher Award provides students with the opportunity to write an essay, poem or thank you letter sharing how a teacher has influenced their life and why they appreciate and admire them. In his thank you letter, Cory spoke of Ms. Ugor’s impact on his life:
“You have changed my life more than you will ever realize. What you have done for me is like the iceberg theory you taught us. It does not seem like you did as much as you have done on the outside, but on the inside you have changed me completely.”
In a formal proclamation from County Executive Steven Neuhaus, Wednesday, April 13, 2016 was officially known as “Pamela Ugor Day” in Orange County, New York.
Paul addressed how Mrs. Sobel helped him overcome teasing from his classmates when he was in elementary school:
“When I was in Central Valley, I would often get picked on and ridiculed by other students because of my speech impediment. Not only was Mrs. Sobel there for me when I need help with my speech, she was also there emotionally when other students would be picking on me.”
The local winners were chosen from more than 100 entries in the Newburgh store. Ms. Ugor will now be entered into the regional competition where five winners will be chosen. From the pool of five regional winners, Barnes & Noble will name one teacher the Barnes & Noble National Teacher of the Year.
Enjoy some highlights from the special event!